The Commerce Department reported(.pdf) that retail sales rose less than expected last month, up only 0.2 percent in June following an upwardly revised gain of 0.5 percent in May.
The consensus estimate for June was a gain of 0.6 percent and the miss was largely due to a surprise decline of 0.3 percent in auto sales last month. Retail sales less autos rose 0.4 percent and when both autos and gasoline are excluded, sales also rose 0.4 percent.
Sales increased for nine of the thirteen major categories, paced by a gain of 1.1 percent at general merchandise stores (e.g., department stores) and an increase of 0.9 percent at nonstore retailers (e.g., internet sales) and health & personal care stores.
Declining categories were led by home improvement stores where sales fell 1.0 percent and food service where receipts were 0.3 percent lower.